The Eternals are coming. The newest squad in the Marvel Cinematic Universe were unveiled at Comic-Con in San Diego this weekend, and they run deep. With an A-list cast (Angelina Jolie! Richard Madden! Salma Hayek!) led by director Chloé Zhao, the Eternals will probably be household names in no time.
Even if you haven’t heard of the Eternals before, you’ve probably still heard of them: creator Jack Kirby actually drew inspiration from Greek and Roman mythology when assembling this team of immortal superheroes. The running gag is that the Eternals inspired human mythology and religion over tens of thousands of years — the god Mercury is actually the Eternal Makkari, and so forth — but humans are simply not that great at documenting history. Like the gods themselves, the Eternals are beautiful and almost infinitely powerful.
Admittedly, it does get more confusing when you consider that Greek gods and mythological figures do actually canonically exist in Marvel comics (to keep it simple, they’re generally called the Olympians, and even clashed with the Eternals once or twice). But here’s where the MCU comes in: to offer fans a tidier version of the Eternals story, and to turn yet another obscure and slightly confusing comic property into an inevitable cultural sensation.
If you, understandably, can’t wait for the film to hit theaters next November, here’s a quick guide to the stars of The Eternals to tide you over until then.